Does this sound like a good orientation?

  1. Earlier this week I had an interview for a stipend at a local hospital (who I want to work for when I graduate). I start an accelerated BSN program in... oh man... 10 days.

    I managed to ask (I think) some pretty good questions during my interview, especially about the orientation process and other things for new grads. This is the info I was given:

    First, new grads are able to work on any unit and in any specialty upon graduation (no incarceration in med/surg first). New grads go through a 2 week "hospital" orientation and then receive another 6-8 weeks of orientation on whatever unit they will be assigned to. Longer orientations are given for some units, like ER, OR, NICU and L&D. New grads work with one, or maybe more, preceptors (depending on your work schedule and the preceptor's work schedule, etc.) and they (in HR) seldom hear that orientation did not go well for the new grad. If at the end of the 6-8 weeks the new grad or the preceptor feels orientation needs to be extended, it can be, within reason.

    From what I have read on this forum about new grads and from what I know about this hospital, this sounds like a pretty good deal. Am I right? If I receive the stipend I will receive up to $20,000 for school and will work for them for 2 years in return.

    Let me know if this sounds like a solid program for a new grad. Thanks!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   CarVsTree
    (no incarceration in med/surg first)
    Please don't ask for advice by first insulting those of us that work med/surg. It is not a prison sentence. Med/surg is a tough specialty, but it is also a valuable foundation (that debate is for another thread though). Many of us stay in med/surg because we are not afraid of patients who are awake, confused, etc. Lots of interaction with pts, families, docs, critical thinking skills because there's not a large staff of others watching the pt. with you.

    Why does the hospital have to offer $20k to get people to stay for 2 years? That is the question I would have asked in the interview.

    The orientation sounds short. 6-8 weeks is short even for the "jail sentance" of med/surg. I had 12 weeks for med/surg and had previous exp. as a tech on the same unit. What is if you need longer "within reason?" How long is "reason?"

    My hospital paid my school tuition for a return of 1 year. I'm near the end of my one year and plan on staying indefinitely. We have one new grad on my unit who is on her 16th week of orientation because it takes her a bit longer than others to catch on. She has about 3 weeks left (hopefully).
  4. by   ortess1971
    I think it sounds like a reasonable program. I was waiting to see how long it would take before someone jumped on you for the "incarceration" comment. For what it's worth, I don't believe you were trying to insult med/surg nurses. I think you were addressing the the outdated idea of the "year of med/surg". My hospital gives the med/surg new grads 12 weeks, but it sounds like they have a plan in place for those who need more time. It's great that they realize that new grads can thrive in a specialty, as well. Good luck to you!:spin:
  5. by   banditrn
    Quote from ortess1971
    I think it sounds like a reasonable program. I was waiting to see how long it would take before someone jumped on you for the "incarceration" comment. For what it's worth, I don't believe you were trying to insult med/surg nurses. I think you were addressing the the outdated idea of the "year of med/surg". My hospital gives the med/surg new grads 12 weeks, but it sounds like they have a plan in place for those who need more time. It's great that they realize that new grads can thrive in a specialty, as well. Good luck to you!:spin:
    ortess - I love the little guy you have as your avatar!!
  6. by   Megsd
    I didn't mean to sound insulting. I have just heard of programs where you HAVE to stay in med/surg for a year or more before being allowed to move to any other unit that you may be more interested in. I honestly don't know what specialty I would like to do at this point and I would consider med/surg as well as any other unit at this point. My apologies for my use of words in that sentence.

    The hospital does not have to offer the money to make us stay. It is a special offer for students in the accelerated nursing program, not for those in the traditional program. Because the accelerated program strongly recommends students not try to work while in school, the extra money is a strong incentive for me to help pay for living expenses while in school. This hospital is one of the best in the region, has the only level 1 trauma center in the region, and is very well respected. I have met many current and retired nurses who trained and worked there and have never heard a bad word about it from a nursing perspective.

    Again, I apologize for the wording of my earlier post. As difficult a unit as I have heard med/surg to be, I respect anyone who is dedicated to that area of nursing. And thanks for the other comments as well.
  7. by   Melcia060
    Quote from Megsd
    I didn't mean to sound insulting. I have just heard of programs where you HAVE to stay in med/surg for a year or more before being allowed to move to any other unit that you may be more interested in. I honestly don't know what specialty I would like to do at this point and I would consider med/surg as well as any other unit at this point. My apologies for my use of words in that sentence.

    The hospital does not have to offer the money to make us stay. It is a special offer for students in the accelerated nursing program, not for those in the traditional program. Because the accelerated program strongly recommends students not try to work while in school, the extra money is a strong incentive for me to help pay for living expenses while in school. This hospital is one of the best in the region, has the only level 1 trauma center in the region, and is very well respected. I have met many current and retired nurses who trained and worked there and have never heard a bad word about it from a nursing perspective.

    Again, I apologize for the wording of my earlier post. As difficult a unit as I have heard med/surg to be, I respect anyone who is dedicated to that area of nursing. And thanks for the other comments as well.
    Meghan,
    You weren't insulting. I think the majority of us understood what you meant. As for the deal, I think it's pretty good. I am starting a hospital program in 9 days and we were offered the same kind of deal. The hospital would pay all our tuition and fees (app $15k) for a 2 year contract of working. For various reasons I said no. First, the department and hours were up to the hospital (we could write down where we'd like to work, but according to previous students who did sign the contract it was pretty much up to the hospital). Also, we would have to pay close to $4k in taxes because the money was a "gift". I also know that after school I am going back home (about 1 1/2 hrs away) and I didn't want to commute that far to work every day. I'm not saying that you shouldn't take the contract, because I know that it works very well for a lot of students. Most hospitals around here offer basically the same kind of orientation. If you need it to be longer, they will make it longer. I'm not sure exactly how much longer, but from what I'm told they'll work w/ you. Anyways, good luck to you. Mel
  8. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from Megsd
    I didn't mean to sound insulting. I have just heard of programs where you HAVE to stay in med/surg for a year or more before being allowed to move to any other unit that you may be more interested in. I honestly don't know what specialty I would like to do at this point and I would consider med/surg as well as any other unit at this point. My apologies for my use of words in that sentence.

    The hospital does not have to offer the money to make us stay. It is a special offer for students in the accelerated nursing program, not for those in the traditional program. Because the accelerated program strongly recommends students not try to work while in school, the extra money is a strong incentive for me to help pay for living expenses while in school. This hospital is one of the best in the region, has the only level 1 trauma center in the region, and is very well respected. I have met many current and retired nurses who trained and worked there and have never heard a bad word about it from a nursing perspective.

    Again, I apologize for the wording of my earlier post. As difficult a unit as I have heard med/surg to be, I respect anyone who is dedicated to that area of nursing. And thanks for the other comments as well.
    Thanks for that apology. I just get my dander up when people refer to med/surg that way.

    The stipend sounds like a good idea then. One thing to keep in mind though is to ask around at how well grads of your accel. program are doing in their transition from student to nurse. There is only one accel. program in our area(well two now, but the second one is brand new) and the students are struggling big time and the hospital I work at (also a Level 1 Trauma center - busiest in PA) is considering no longer hiring accel. BSN grads - due to how undertrained they are clinically.

    Now, before anyone jumps all over me, the second program is DeSales Univ. which is a very good nursing program. The hosp is waiting to see how their grads do before making such a decision. The other school may be the problem, not accel. progs in general.

    What I'm trying to say is make sure your program is good and that the grads feel adequately prepared when it is all said and done.

    Peace out.
    Last edit by CarVsTree on Aug 26, '06
  9. by   Megsd
    Quote from suemom2kay
    Thanks for that apology. I just get my dander up when people refer to med/surg that way.

    The stipend sounds like a good idea then. One thing to keep in mind though is to ask around at how well grads of your accel. program are doing in their transition from student to nurse. There is only one accel. program in our area(well two now, but the second one is brand new) and the students are struggling big time and the hospital I work at (also a Level 1 Trauma center - busiest in PA) is considering no longer hiring accel. BSN grads - due to how undertrained they are clinically.

    Now, before anyone jumps all over me, the second program is DeSales Univ. which is a very good nursing program. The hosp is waiting to see how their grads do before making such a decision. The other school may be the problem, not accel. progs in general.

    What I'm trying to say is make sure your program is good and that the grads feel adequately prepared when it is all said and done.

    Peace out.
    Yeah, the program is pretty new (3rd year), but the good news is the 100% of the first class passed their NCLEX the first time, which is encouraging. I admit that has constantly been one of my freak-out points... how am I going to learn all of this in 15 months? I have to reassure myself it is possible, or else there wouldn't be programs like this. I have orientation next week, so I don't know much, but I do know that I start clinicals the second week (we have skills lab 2 days the first week to be checked off on various skills for the next week's clinicals) and have 16 hours of clinical a week my first quarter. Students I know in traditional programs only go once a week, and usually not their first quarter, so I assume that doubling up will help us get the practice we need. The school partners pretty closely with the hospital I'm trying to work for, so I can only assume that the hospital is confident in the quality of the grads since this is an offer exclusive to us.
  10. by   mariedoreen
    You're being offered a good deal. There's nothing wrong with the hospital for offering it, hospitals throughout the nation offer to pay tuition in exchange for a certain number of years of service. Nurses are needed and hospitals are always recruiting in an attempt to replace existing staff that is retiring, or quitting, or so cranky that no one wants to work with them.

    For those of you booted up and looking for an opportunity to post your next counter-attack in a war waging only within yourself:

    That's a joke.
  11. by   mummer43
    I'm currently in the DeSales accelerated program. It's stressful, but doable.
  12. by   purplemania
    It sounds like a good deal for you. Please bear in mind that they may not be able to guarantee you a spot on the unit you desire. Any given unit can only handle a certain number of new grads each semester. Would you want to work with only new people? Somebody needs to know what is going on! Also, there is a limit to how many people are hired to a unit, experienced or not.

    You really need to think about being more flexible too. The desired nurse is the one who is able to work where needed (within reason). Don't limit your scope to one unit.
  13. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Hello OP!~

    I think you may want to consider MED SURGE first after all, since this will help you hone your basic skills (which after graduating nursing school may be lacking) that when you do decide to go to a "specialty" area of the hospital, you'll be top notch with the BASICS -- foley insertion, Ng insertion, IV maintenance, starting IVs etc. Because a lot of new nurses struggle with THE BASICS that keeps them from learning the absolute ESSENTIALS of a specialty floor.

    AND this is why Med Surge had been a prerequisite (incarceration?!) prior to entering a specialty area. It was never meant to be PUNISHMENT!
    Last edit by CaLLaCoDe on Feb 22, '07

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